If I’m walking between classes, I will break out the play. Walking to school, I break out the play. Running on the treadmill, laying in bed trying to sleep, eating my dinner, every moment of the day, outside of my morning time with the Lord, has been spend diving in and reflecting on the words in Sheridan’s rich text. After a short three weeks of work, I would not venture to call myself an expert on the character of Faulkland, but I have discovered an unbelievable amount by committing myself to study of the text.
It’s the goal of any actor, to not only read the text and memorize it, but to allow the words to touch his heart, mind and soul. We cannot simply read the lines, but we must interpret them from our point of view and personalize them in a way where we can say them and convince an audience and fellow characters that they are our own. The lines bounce around in my head day and night as I walk down the street repeating them to myself, looking like a crazy person, and constantly searching for new meaning, or deeper meaning.
In all of these ways, the study of an actor’s script is not much unlike our study of God’s word. Or at least what we wish our study of God’s word was like. But if we were honest with ourselves, most often we are just content with reading it. We cannot simply read the lines, however. No great play was every produced from an actor simply reading the lines. How should we expect God’s word to produce any real change in our lives until we go beyond simply reading, and begin to allow the words to touch our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits. We cannot simply read the word, we must understand the word, and live the word. Paul says, do not be only hearers, but doers, this does not come from just simply reading.
Pastor Mark Batterson says it this was, “If you read through the Bible, you’ll get through the Bible. If you pray through the Bible, you’ll get the Bible through you.”